Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Somber Anniversary

Today marks the fifth anniversary of the looting of the National Museum of Iraq, in Baghdad. It bears reflecting today on what exactly enabled this shameful excoriation of the museum's most striking collections and how far anyone has actually come to the lofty promises of cultural self-affirmation that were bandied about five years ago... some of the AVRPI readership might be able to act on these reflections in a few months. In any case, the LA Times has a perceptive, if short, piece on the topic. I especially liked this quote:
...there are as many reasons to steal antiquities as there are people -- "money, lust, a misguided sense that they are preserving Iraqi culture . . . cultural hatred, heritage used as a weapon . . . every base or self-deceptive motive you can imagine."

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